Install Hush Line on a Raspberry Pi
In this tutorial, we’ll install Hush Line, a free and open-source app providing organizations and individuals with a censorship-resistant way to receive private messages from their community. We’ll install the app on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (you can use a Pi 4, or a VPS from Digital Ocean or Njalla, too). Here’s a video to follow along with. Let’s dive in!
- Raspberry Pi 3 B+
- 16GB SD Card (flexible)
- A computer with internet access
- An email address that supports SMTP access
- Tor Browser
Step 1: Install Raspberry Pi OS
First, you’ll need to install the operating system for your Pi. Download the official Raspberry Pi Imager here: https://www.raspberrypi.com/software/.
When you launch the app, click Choose OS > Raspberry Pi OS (other) > Raspberry Pi OS (64-bit).
Insert your SD card into your computer, then click Choose Storage.
Before installing, click the settings gear button in the bottom-right of the window. Taking advantage of these settings will save lots of time. At the very least, click Enable SSH, set your wifi information, and give the device a strong password.
Step 2: SSH
After you’ve written the operating system to your SD card, insert it into your Pi and plug in the power. Give it a minute or two since the first boot can take a while. Then, in your Terminal, enter:
Enter the password you set in the Imager.
Step 3: Install Hush Line
Now that you’ve SSH’d into your Pi let’s install Hush Line. It’s as easy as entering a single command! You can either head to the Github repo here or enter:
curl -sSL https://install.hushline.app | bash
We will install Hush Line as a Tor-only service to keep things simple. First, you’ll see the install script kick-off; it’ll download the software and create all files needed for the app to function.
Step 4: Configure Email
Hush Line will send an email with the encrypted message contents when one is submitted. In a moment, you’ll see a dialog popup that’ll guide you through entering all of the info we’ll need to get email notifications configured.
We highly recommend using a Gmail address with a one-time password, as the service is highly reliable. And since your message is encrypted, Google won’t be able to read it. If your device becomes compromised, this password won’t work after the first use.
- An email address
- One-time password
- Gmail’s SMTP address (smtp.gmail.com)
- Gmail’s SSL port for secure connections: 465
Step 5: Create a PGP Key
Next, we need a PGP key to encrypt the messages someone sends. We’re using GPGTools to create and manage our keys. Once installed, open GPG Keychain and click New at the top of the window. Create a new key for your email address if you don’t already have one.
Once created, click Upload Public Key. You’ll receive a confirmation email. First, verify your address, then click your email address in the browser. You’ll go to a page with the link you need. Copy and paste it into your Terminal in the appropriate prompt.
Step 6: Visit Your Hush Line
When the installation completes, you’ll see your onion address. Give it a few minutes, make sure you’ve downloaded Tor Browser, then copy and paste the address to access your Hush Line!
Step 7: Send a Message
Now that you’ve accessed your site enter and submit a message. Go to your email client to receive the new encrypted message. If you’re using Apple Mail, you’ll see a pop-up asking for your PGP key’s password. Once entered, you’ll be able to view your decrypted message!